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Superior Court Civil Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURT
OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE APPLICABLE IN CIVIL ACTIONS

CIVIL RULES 1 TO 54

V.  DISCOVERY

Rule 23. Written Interrogatories

(a) Any party may serve, by mail or delivery by hand, upon any other party written interrogatories relating to any matters which may be inquired into under Rule 21.

(b) A party may propound more than one set of interrogatories to an adverse party, but the total number of interrogatories shall not exceed 25, unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown after the proposed additional interrogatories have been filed with the court.  In determining what constitutes an interrogatory for the purpose of applying this limitation in number, it is intended that each question be counted separately, whether or not it is subsidiary or incidental to or dependent upon or included in another question, and however the questions may be grouped, combined or arranged.

(c) Any party propounding interrogatories shall provide the opponent with notice, substantially as set forth in the following form, of the obligation to answer said interrogatories within thirty days.  The notice shall be at the top of the first page and printed in capital, typewritten letters or in ten-point, bold-face print.  The form of the notice in substance shall be as follows:

THESE INTERROGATORIES ARE PROPOUNDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULE 23 OF THE RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE APPLICABLE IN CIVIL ACTIONS.  YOU MUST ANSWER EACH QUESTION SEPARATELY AND FULLY IN WRITING AND UNDER OATH.  YOU MUST RETURN THE ORIGINAL AND ONE COPY OF YOUR ANSWERS WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF THE DATE YOU RECEIVED THEM TO THE PARTY OR COUNSEL WHO SERVED THEM UPON YOU.  IF YOU OBJECT TO ANY QUESTION, YOU MUST NOTE YOUR OBJECTION AND STATE THE REASON THEREFORE.  IF YOU FAIL TO RETURN YOUR ANSWERS WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS, THE PARTY WHO SERVED THEM UPON YOU MAY INFORM THE COURT, AND THE COURT SHALL MAKE SUCH ORDERS AS JUSTICE REQUIRES, INCLUDING THE ENTRY OF A CONDITIONAL DEFAULT AGAINST YOU.

(d) Interrogatories may be served at any time after service of the action.

(e) The party serving the interrogatories shall furnish the answering party with an original and two copies of the interrogatories.  The interrogatories shall be so arranged that after each separate question shall appear a blank space reasonably calculated to enable the answering party to have his or her answer typed in.  The parties may agree to transmit interrogatories electronically or by computer disk, enabling the answering party to provide answers directly after each separate question using the party‚Äôs available word processing technology.  In the event of such an agreement, the requirement of providing space between each question sufficient to manually insert answers is obviated.

(f) Interrogatories shall be answered in writing under oath by the party upon whom served, if an individual, or, if a public or private corporation, a partnership or association, by an officer or agent who shall furnish all information available to the party.

(g) Each question shall be answered separately, fully and responsively in such manner that the final document shall have each interrogatory immediately succeeded by the separate answer.

(h) If, in any interrogatory, copies of papers, documents or electronically stored information are requested, such interrogatory shall be deemed to be a request for production pursuant to Rule 24. 

(i)  The party, who is served with interrogatories, shall serve his or her answers thereto, by mail or delivery in hand, upon the party propounding them within 30 days after service of such interrogatories.  The parties may extend such time by written agreement.

(j)  The answers shall be served, together with the original and one copy of the interrogatories, upon the propounding party.  If copies of papers are annexed to answers, they need be annexed to only one set.

(k)    (1) If a party, upon whom interrogatories are served, objects to any questions propounded therein, he or she may answer the question by objecting and stating the grounds.  The party shall make timely answer, however, to all questions to which he or she does not object.  The propounder of a question to which another party objects may move to compel an answer to the question, and, if the motion is granted, the question shall be answered within such time as the court directs.

        (2) When objections are made to interrogatories or requests for admissions, before there is any court hearing regarding said objections, counsel for the parties shall attempt in good faith to settle the objections by agreement.  It shall be the responsibility of counsel for the objecting party to initiate such attempt and to notify the clerk if the objections are settled by agreement.

        (3) If, following such conference, counsel are unable to settle objections, counsel for the objecting party shall notify the clerk and request a hearing on such objections as remain unsettled.

        (4) Where an objection to an interrogatory has been withdrawn by agreement of counsel or has been overruled by the court, the answer to such interrogatory shall be served within 10 days thereafter.

(l)  The adverse party shall have the same privileges in answering written interrogatories as the deponent in the taking of a deposition.

(m)  If a party, who has furnished answers to interrogatories, thereafter obtains information which renders such answers incomplete or inaccurate, amended answers shall be served in accordance with Rule 21(g).

(n)  Interrogatories and answers may be used at the trial to the same extent as depositions.  If less than all of the interrogatories and answers thereto are introduced or read into evidence by a party, an adverse party may introduce or read into evidence any other of the interrogatories and answers or parts thereof necessary for a fair understanding of the parts read or otherwise introduced into evidence.

(o)  Neither the interrogatories nor the answers need be filed with the court unless the court otherwise directs.


Comment

 Rule 23(b) represents a further restriction on the use of interrogatories than had been imposed under former Superior Court Rule 36.  This new limitation is warranted by the adoption of the Automatic Disclosure requirements of Rule 22, which itself tracks in part the provision of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1).


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